SoCal Strong: Fashion designer holds on to immigrant parents work ethic to help survive pandemic

BEVERLY HILLS (KABC) -- The pandemic hit hard on so many businesses - including the fashion industry. One local designer is getting back on track, and staying "SoCal Strong," with a fashion show.

These shows are usually reserved for industry insiders, but a designer Johana Hernandez took her gowns to the streets of Beverly Hills to celebrate 10 years in business.

"I wanted to show my collection and I thought well I can't bring people really close together so I want to create a drive-thru experience where they see my fashion show," said Hernandez.

The fashion show turned block party was a hit. Hernandez owns and designs Glaudi - specializing in bridal fashion and haute couture. And getting to this day was far from easy; she lost her father to coronavirus last July and created a men's collection in his memory.

"I want to honor all the families who lost family to COVID and 2020. My dad was an amazing father," said Hernandez.

Glaudi has two locations, one in Beverly Hills the other in Downey. The inspiration behind her brand came from close to home.

We caught up with Johana at her Downey store to learn about the inspiration behind her brand.

"I would draw dresses and my mom would make them out of her garage. So I started very young creating designs and I never knew that you could have a career as a designer," said Hernandez.

Johana's parents emigrated from El Salvador. Her passion for fashion began by watching them sew clothing in factories. She says Glaudi designs are size inclusive and affordable in comparison to other bridal shops in Beverly Hills. Hernandez has worked with celebrities including Bella Thorne and Nicole Richie; she even created a custom dress for tennis superstar Serena Williams. Hernandez's advice to others business owners or creators: never give up, and always be kind-- even when you're faced with adversity.

"At the end of the day what really speaks for it is your work and the way you treat people," said Hernandez. "I think people really remember how you made them feel and that's really made me grow as a business owner and designer."
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